12 Hot Water Cost Saving Tips
Hot water use is one of the first things you should address when you start thinking about savings. About 25-30% of your home’s energy use belongs to hot water systems alone.
That’s a lot of money just for heating water.
If you’re feeling the pinch when it comes to money, the good news is there are some incredibly simple ways to save. Some of them can even happen before you go to bed tonight.
Take a look at our 12 tips to save hot water expenses.
1. Take Shorter Showers
Okay, okay, you’ve heard this one before. But the thing is, shorter showers are the first thing you can do to save money. In a family of four, the difference between daily five-minute or 15-minute showers could easily be $1000 per year. If you can shower during off-peak times, you can also save on some costs.
Besides, not only will shorter showers save considerable cash, but they also save a lot of water too.
2. Install Low-Flow Showerheads
Paired with shorter showers, a low-flow showerhead is a simple, cheap way to save. You can buy a low-flow showerhead for as little as $20, and a 4-star rated showerhead in an average family could save around $300 a year.
The best part is you don’t compromise on water pressure, just the amount of water which is used.
3. Fix Leaking Taps
When you first notice a leaking tap you put up with the occasional drip while you’re in the bathroom or laundry. But do you know just how much water that could actually waste? If left alone, a dripping tap can waste up to 20,000 litres of water every year!
While it’s not directly a hot water issue, fixing your dripping taps will save a considerable amount of money and water.
4. Lower the Thermostat Temperature
In a storage tank, the recommended thermostat temperature is 60°C, while an instantaneous unit should be set at 50°C. Why 60°C, you may ask? Well that’s the optimum temperature to kill off bacteria that could grow in the storage tank.
If your temperature is any higher, well that’s just wasted energy. Particularly as the tempering valve reduces hot water back to 50°C for when it comes out of the tap.
5. Insulate Your Hot Water System
Insulation helps reduce heat loss, which is beneficial for storage tank owners. Even when it’s not in use, a storage tank heats the water. Insulation retains heat so the heater does not have to turn on as frequently.
Likewise, insulating the pipes will conserve heat as the water’s delivered to your taps, especially in exposed outdoor areas.
6. Book Regular Maintenance
Regular maintenance of your water heater is essential for optimal performance and can contribute to long-term hot water cost savings. By scheduling routine maintenance, you can ensure that your water heater operates efficiently and identify any potential issues before they become major problems.
Here are the key reasons why booking regular maintenance is crucial:
- Efficiency: Over time, sediment and mineral buildup can accumulate in your water heater, reducing its efficiency. Regular maintenance, such as flushing the tank and cleaning the heating elements, helps remove these deposits, allowing your water heater to operate at its best.
- Lifespan extension: A well-maintained water heater tends to have a longer lifespan. By addressing minor issues early on, such as leaks or faulty components, you can prevent them from escalating into more significant and costly repairs or even the need for a premature replacement.
- Energy savings: When your water heater is properly maintained, it consumes less energy to heat water, leading to reduced energy bills. Additionally, routine maintenance ensures that the heating elements are functioning optimally, minimising energy waste.
- Safety: Regular maintenance helps identify and address potential safety hazards, such as gas leaks or faulty electrical connections, ensuring the safe operation of your water heater and protecting your home and family.
By booking regular maintenance for your water heater, you can maximise its efficiency, extend its lifespan, save on energy costs, and maintain a safe and reliable hot water supply.
Consult a professional plumber or follow the manufacturer’s guidelines to establish a maintenance schedule that suits your specific water heater type and usage.
7. Use Cold Water in the Laundry
Roughly 13% of your home’s water use takes place in the laundry. This could be more or less depending on the WELS rating. For example, a medium sized 2-star unit can use about 130 litres of water per wash, while a 4-star model uses 60-70 litres.
Just think of the amount of hot water used during a warm wash. If you can, stick to cold as it’ll save you a considerable amount of money over a lifetime. Also, look at upgrading your washing machine if the water and energy ratings are low.
8. Maximise Dishwasher Efficiency
To save costs on hot water usage, it’s important to maximise the efficiency of your dishwasher. By following a few simple tips, you can reduce both water and energy consumption while still achieving clean dishes.
Here’s how to make the most of your dishwasher:
- Load wisely: Properly load your dishwasher to maximise its capacity and minimise the need for multiple cycles. Make sure dishes are arranged strategically, allowing water to reach all surfaces for effective cleaning.
- Scrape, don’t rinse: Instead of pre-rinsing dishes, scrape off excess food before loading them into the dishwasher. Modern dishwashers are designed to handle this step, saving both water and time.
- Use the eco mode: Most dishwashers have an eco-friendly or energy-saving mode. Opt for this setting, as it reduces water temperature and cycle duration while still providing sufficient cleaning power.
- Wash full loads: Whenever possible, wait until your dishwasher is full before running a cycle. Running half-empty loads wastes both water and energy.
- Skip the heated dry: Rather than using the heated drying option, open the dishwasher door after the wash cycle and let the dishes air dry. This simple switch can save a significant amount of energy.
By implementing these strategies, you can maximise the efficiency of your dishwasher, reduce hot water consumption, and lower your overall energy costs.
9. Capture and Reuse Hot Water
One effective way to save costs on hot water usage is by capturing and reusing water that would otherwise go to waste. By implementing simple strategies, you can make the most of this valuable resource.
Here are some tips on how to capture and reuse hot water efficiently.
- Collect shower water: Place a bucket or basin in your shower to capture the water that runs while you wait for it to heat up. This “warm-up” water can be used for various purposes such as watering plants, flushing toilets, or cleaning.
- Use a dishpan in the sink: When washing dishes, fill a dishpan with hot water and use it for multiple rounds instead of letting the hot water run continuously. This method can save a significant amount of water and energy.
- Repurpose cooking water: After cooking vegetables or pasta, let the water cool down and use it to hydrate your indoor or outdoor plants. Just make sure to let it cool sufficiently to avoid causing damage.
- Reuse laundry rinse water: Instead of sending the rinse water from your washing machine down the drain, capture it in a container and repurpose it for tasks like mopping floors or cleaning outdoor surfaces.
- Collect rainwater: Install a rainwater harvesting system to capture rainfall, which can then be used for various non-potable water needs, including watering your garden or washing your car.
By capturing and reusing hot and cold water, you not only save money on your water bills but also contribute to conserving this valuable resource. Implementing these simple strategies can make a significant difference in your overall hot water consumption and costs.
10. Consider a Tankless Water Heater
One option worth considering is a tankless water heater. Unlike traditional water heaters that store and continuously heat a large tank of water, tankless water heaters provide hot water on-demand, resulting in several benefits.
Firstly, tankless water heaters are more energy-efficient than electric or gas storage systems. Continuous flow systems (or instantaneous water heaters) only heat water when it is needed, eliminating the standby heat loss associated with traditional water heaters. This can lead to significant energy savings and lower utility bills over time.
Secondly, continuous flow systems have a longer lifespan compared to conventional models. While traditional water heaters may last around 10-15 years, continuous flow versions can last 20 years or more with proper maintenance. The longevity of instantaneous water heaters reduces the need for frequent replacements, saving you money in the long run.
Additionally, tankless water heaters are compact and take up less space. They can be mounted on walls or installed in tight spaces, making them suitable for homes with limited square footage.
However, it’s important to consider certain factors before investing in a tankless water heater. These include the size and demands of your household, the availability of gas or electricity for powering the unit, and the initial installation cost, which can be higher compared to electric or gas storage systems.
By opting for a tankless water heater, you can enjoy the benefits of energy efficiency, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, longer lifespan, and space-saving design. Assess your household needs and consult with a professional to determine if a continuous flow system is the right choice for your home, ultimately leading to hot water cost savings in the long term.
11. Upgrade to a Solar Hot Water System
One of the most effective ways to save costs on hot water usage is by upgrading to a solar hot water system. By harnessing the power of the sun, solar hot water systems offer numerous benefits for both your wallet and the environment.
Here’s why people should consider making the switch to solar hot water systems:
- Reduced energy bills: Solar hot water systems use the sun’s energy to heat water, significantly reducing your reliance on electricity or gas. Using renewable energy can lead to substantial savings on your energy bills over time.
- Renewable and sustainable: Solar energy is clean and renewable and there are no greenhouse gas emissions, making it an environmentally friendly choice. By reducing your carbon footprint, you contribute to the fight against climate change.
- Government incentives: Many governments offer incentives, such as tax credits or rebates, to encourage the adoption of solar water heaters. Taking advantage of these programs can further offset the upfront costs of installing a solar hot water unit.
- Long-term investment: While the initial installation cost may be higher compared to traditional water heaters, a solar hot water system is a long-term investment. These systems are durable and require minimal maintenance, resulting in cost savings over their lifespan.
- Energy independence: By generating your hot water from the sun, you become less dependent on utility companies and their fluctuating prices. Solar hot water provides greater control over your energy costs and protects you from future price hikes.
Before upgrading, consult with a professional to assess your home’s suitability for a solar hot water unit. Consider factors such as the climate, available roof space and local regulations. With solar hot water systems, you can enjoy cost savings, sustainability and a greener home.
12. Time Your Water Heater Usage
Timing your water heater usage can be a simple yet effective way to save costs on hot water. By adjusting when you use hot water, you can optimise energy consumption and reduce waste. Here are some tips to help you time your water heater usage:
- Take advantage of off-peak hours: Check with your utility provider to identify off-peak hours when electricity rates are lower. Schedule activities that require hot water, such as showering or doing laundry, during these times to take advantage of reduced energy costs.
- Coordinate shower schedules: If you have multiple family members or roommates, coordinate shower schedules to avoid simultaneous hot water usage. This ensures that everyone has enough hot water without straining the water heater.
- Plan ahead for high-demand activities: If you’re expecting high-demand activities, like hosting guests or doing a large load of laundry, plan them during times when hot water usage is typically lower. This allows the water heater to recover and maintain hot water supply without overworking.
By strategically timing your water heater usage, you can optimise energy consumption and reduce costs. These simple adjustments can make a significant difference in your monthly energy bills while still ensuring a reliable supply of hot water.
Enjoy the Benefits
Incorporating these 12 hot water cost saving tips into your daily routine can lead to significant savings on your energy bills while minimising your environmental impact.
From installing low-flow showerheads and insulating hot water pipes to considering tankless water heaters, solar hot water systems and capturing/reusing hot water, there are numerous practical strategies you can implement.
By being mindful of your hot water usage and making small changes, you can achieve long-term cost savings without sacrificing comfort or convenience. So, start implementing these tips today and enjoy the benefits of lower hot water costs, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, increased energy efficiency, and a greener home.
Contact Plumber Near Me for Your Hot Water Needs
If you’re considering a hot water system replacement, showerhead installation or hot water service, call Plumber Near Me today! Our licensed plumbers and gas fitters can work with any system and provide suitable advice for you to achieve the most savings.
Whether it’s a regular maintenance visit or emergency plumbing fiasco, Plumber Near Me can be there 24/7, with convenient interest free** payment plans for your peace of mind.
Please note: This information is provided for advice purposes only. Regulations differ from state to state, so please consult your local authorities or an industry professional before proceeding with any work. See our Terms & Conditions here.